Pocahontas Prevention Coalition Wants To Reach Kids With New Video

Marlinton, WV – The Pocahontas County Prevention Coalition has as its primary mission to give kids the tools they need to avoid using drugs and alcohol. The newest tool in their arsenal is a new video with updated music, cool graphics and hosted by a couple of teens. Marilyn Norris, Grant Coordinator for the Prevention Coalition explains what drew her to this particular video during a recent meeting of the coalition members.

“We were looking for a dvd or video that had some real current information on scientific research related to drugs and its affect on the brain,” she says. “We came across this one and we thought it would be a really good one. I think we’re going to be able to use it with the middle school as well as probably high school. And if you have anyone who would be interested in seeing this or showing this around we would love to share it.”

The video is called All You Need to Know About the Teen Brain and Drugs In 17 Minutes’. A couple of teen hosts, a boy and a girl, guide the viewer through the video that talks about the effects of various drugs on the developing teenage brain, interspersing scenes of teens at a party with those of medical experts explaining the physiological effects that a particular drug produces. In between the different segments, a clock counts down in a scene similar to the one made popular in the television show 24. Those viewing the video praised it for both its message and the way it’s presented. Norris says she really likes the scientific angle.

“What I like about it is the science, it’s a scientific authority showing you scientific things; it’s not just your mother telling you don’t do that, it’s bad for you!”, she says. “It shows you what’s going to happen to your own personal brain inside your head.”

Norris says there is also a manual that supplements the video that teachers can use in discussion with their students. She says this video will initially be shown to middle school kids. Scheduling time to show it at the high school is a little more problematic, but Sheriff David Jonese says he’s working on that with high school Principal Tom Sanders.

“I’ve talked to Mr. Sanders about being able to teach some classes and maybe able to schedule some periods one day a week when it would be a good time for Prevention to step in,” he says, “and teach a lot of those classes and get that audience in there.”

Coalition member Ginny Ramos says local minister Aaron Trigg is having some success reaching the high school kids. Trigg, the Christian Athletes fellowship sponsor talked with Ramos after meeting with a group of kids, saying they spoke frankly about both the sexual and drug pressures they deal with.

“The primary conversation was about the sexual activity amongst the teenagers,” says Ramos. “There was some drug stuff injected in there as well. But basically what the kids said is they want to talk about it, they want to learn, but they just don’t want adults standing up there telling them all this stuff; they want to be the ones to talk about it.”

“So why is it that young girls are having sex? Well because the boys pressure us to; that’s what the girls say. And then he looked at the boys and said well why are you young boys having sex – because the other boys are pressuring them. The kids just talked and talked he said, the whole time, and then they talked about the drug issue a little bit; very similar. And afterwards he said a lot of the kids thanked him for giving them that chance to talk about it.”

The coalition members say they appreciate Trigg’s rapport with the kids and hope to build on that and other activities that will give kids in this sometimes geographically challenging area alternatives to using drugs and alcohol as a means of entertainment. For more information on Pocahontas County Prevention Coalition, you can visit them at their office in the Snowshoe Career Center in Marlinton, by phone at 304-799-2509 or by email at PocahontasPrevention@gmail.com.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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